Columbus Monuments Pages
Fonderia Nelli (Roma)
On the base, facing south (primary facade): 1.8m-tall winged boy of Carrera marble, variously called "Genius of Geography", "Genius of Columbus," or "Genius of Discovery."
Below the Genius: 1.2m-wide bronze relief of Columbus making his first landfall:North side of base: 1.2m-wide bronze relief of Columbus's ships anchored in the Caribbean, with his men watching as he takes a longboat to shore:
North side, above the relief: bronze eagle holding shields of Genoa and the U.S.
On the column: ships prows and anchors, in bronze
Columbus at the top: Carrera marble. He holds the tiller with his right hand (behind him), and looks slightly toward the left.
The fountains around the base were designed by Douglas Leigh. The decorative fence that surrounds the island on which the Monument sits was donated by the Delacorte Foundation in 1960.
the italians resident in america,
scoffed at before,
during the voyage, menaced,
after it, chained,
as generous as oppressed,
to the world, he gave a world.
joy and glory
on the xii of october mdcccxcii
gli italiani residenti in america
minacciato durante il viaggio
sapendo esser generoso quanto oppresso
donava un mondo al mondo.
la gioia e la gloria
nel 12 ottobre 1892
Lower on the pedestal:
On bronze reliefs on base: Russo. Invento E Sculpi Roma 1894/ Fond/Nelli/Roma
From Francis Morrone writes: "...Barsotti [= Carlo Barsotti (1850-1927), an immigrant who in 1880 founded Il Progresso, in time the city's largest-circulation foreign-language daily newspaper] sponsored the most spectacular of New York's monuments that celebrate the specialness of the New World. Gaetano Russo's Christopher Columbus monument in Columbus Circle, unveiled in 1892 on the 400th anniversary of the Italian explorer's discovery of America. A marble Columbus surmounts a granite column, embellished with ship's prows and anchors like a famous lost column of Augustus, on which the Roman emperor had hung the prows of the ships he defeated in the Battle of Actium in 31 b.c. ..."
See also the description by Ponce de Leon.
The monument was restored in 1992.
Item Code: usny28; Added: 1 January 2000 / Photograph: 25 October 2000 / Updated: 21 November 2010
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt